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What is BitTorrent (BTT)?

What is BitTorrent (BTT)?

Explainers Cryptocurrencies

30 Jun 2021

Long before Web 3.0 was a thing, or even before bitcoin was created, BitTorrent was pioneering decentralized computing architecture. The data and file-sharing operation was founded in 2001 by Bram Cohen, and since then it has grown into one of the most-popular decentralized applications. While there are many torrent file sharing applications available, BitTorrent is the world’s largest in terms of number of users, quality of service, and total size of all files stored.

In 2018, Tron bought BitTorrent for $140 million. A lucrative move which helped build considerable hype around the acquisition and Tron itself, further fuelling the blockchain addiction of news media. Playing their cards right, Tron held an ICO in 2019 after the frenzy of 2017 was over, raising $7.2 million in a few minutes for the newly minted BTT. Today, BTT still ranks in the top 50 in terms of market cap on CoinMarketCap.

How BitTorrent works

BitTorrent is a decentralized computing architecture to distribute and store data. It works by breaking up files people upload into several fragments, storing those fragments across several nodes in the network, and re-assembling the file on the computer of the person that downloads the file.

There are two roles for BitTorrent users, which they call ‘seeds’ and ‘peers’. Someone that shares data is a seed, and the person receiving the file requested in bits and pieces is called a peer. Once a peer has downloaded all the fragmented data to reconstitute a complete file, that user automatically becomes a seed in the ecosystem expanding the network for that particular set of data.

Lifting BitTorrent to the next level

Despite its popularity, BitTorrent hasn’t had it easy for the most part. It struggled for a long time to find a buyer, mostly because it had no viable commercial business model to generate a reliable revenue stream. That changed with the creation of BTT.

The underlying mechanics of the BitTorrent system was unaffected by the introduction of native token BTT, but it did add a layer of crypto economics to the network.

BTT is based on the TRC-10 protocol which works with the Tron blockchain protocol. Seed users that make files available for downloading are rewarded with BTT tokens. Since it doesn’t require any expensive hardware, anyone can join the BitTorrent network to start earning BTT as a seed in the ecosystem.

The transactions occur once the service provider gets a bid from a requester. This process initiates what’s known as a payment channel on a ledger and begins the transaction between the parties. The process involves verification measures every step of the way until the requester confirms the transaction is complete.

For the most part after the hype around its ICO cooled down, BTT had been trading in a narrow band. But since early 2021 the coin kicked to life, shooting up 2200% in 2 months from $ 0.0004634 to $0.01068. It has since retreated to $0.003907, but overall the outlook most crypto analysts have is positive.

Some believe the coin can make it to a 1 cent valuation sometime this year, and most expect increases each year until at least 2028 when more coins will be unlocked by the BitTorrent Foundation as per the roadmap circulated during the ICO.

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